Customer Review

18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good album spoiled by atrocious mastering., 9 May 2008
This review is from: Accelerate (digipack) (Audio CD)
This album is not as good as it could be. Like most other reviewers I agree this is the best REM album for some time. However, my beef is with the mastering. I can only listen to about three songs in a row due to the sonic bludgeoning that this CD inflicts on me. It really is physically tiring to be subjected to a virtually constant volume level on every song. Like others I'm frustrated at how this recording has been mastered. Every song is the same volume, every part of every song is the same volume, every guitar part is the same volume, thrashy guitar chords and guitar arpeggios are the same volume. Can't we have some light and shade? This is particulary draining to listen to. The whole recordings been turned into some sort of liquidised sonic mush where there's no lumpy bits and everything's the one gloopy texture. No doubt guitar/drum/bass etc parts were compressed when they were recorded, compressed further when they were mixed, and then the whole mix was probably compressed. .. leading to a unpleasant listening experience.

It would be better if the songs were allowed to breathe and not suffocated. Please let's have some music recorded with natural dynamics instead of squashing everything.

Most of the songs are great by the way...
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Comments

Tracked by 1 customer

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Showing 1-6 of 6 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 11 May 2008 09:38:40 BDT
David says:
Couldn`t agree with you more, this loudness war crap is killing music.
Only thing is ,you and I along with some others are fighting against the vast majority who think louder is better as they listen on their ghetto blasters and ipods.
People with real hi-fi who love music are`nt being catered for anymore and even if you buy a turntable and listen to vinyl it still is`nt much better as often the master used is the cd master from a cdr with the volume turned down a bit to stop the stylus jumping out the groove so the dynamic range is still reduced.Some vinyl is recorded striaght from the original master tapes but this is usually from older albums and often at a premium price.
Compression in my view which is handy in some circumstances (ie noisy environments) should be applied by the using equipment if so desired and the cd left with full dynamic range for proper hi-fi use and then everybody is happy.
Now how simple is that?

In reply to an earlier post on 14 May 2008 08:26:52 BDT
I read a review that placed the blame on JackKnife Lee's production apparently this is his 'signature style'. If this is the case then no amount of remastering will help.

In reply to an earlier post on 3 Sep 2008 15:10:13 BDT
Rush also had these problems I note on their Vapor Trails most notably. Tis an unfortunate and growing trend.

Posted on 8 Apr 2010 16:29:47 BDT
Kobo Maven says:
You can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear and no amount of clever mastering could have disguised the fact a lot of the songs have limited appeal (Living Well and Man Sized I'll except.)

Posted on 7 Feb 2011 21:40:57 GMT
[Deleted by the author on 25 Apr 2012 22:19:12 BDT]

Posted on 23 Dec 2013 10:51:36 GMT
I'm glad it's not just me who found this problem with the album. What a shame. Musically I feel it's quite good but it's hard to judge as I also suffer from fatigue after a track or two and need to cleanse my ears with ANYTHING with dynamic range!
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